Elnett, the long-smuggled hairspray, now at Shoppers

Photography by Setareh Sarmadi

In the beauty world, L’Oréal Paris Elnett‘s reputation precedes it. This hairspray is cult–the secret of runway stylists and the stuff of legend. Banned in the U.S., though not in Europe, since 1987 due to its use of fluorocarbons as propellants, the 50-year-old “golden can” has been smuggled back in ever since. Happily, for us and the ozone layer, that problem has been solved in a North American version of Elnett Satin ($15) that landed at Shoppers Drug Mart this month.

What’s so great about it? I smuggled–okay, brought–a can home to test.

Elnett’s claim to fame is a strong hold that comes courtesy of a super-fine mist that vanishes when you give your hair a light brushing, so you avoid helmet head. Since I don’t have the long locks of spokesperson Penélope Cruz, I went for a pompadour. I teased my hair, sprayed, pomped and pinned and sprayed again. And again. Lucky for me I enjoyed Elnett’s old fashioned, beauty parlor scent.

As I toured my look around the office, several people commented–unprompted–at how not crusty my hair looked. Success! I’m also happy to report that my pomp kept its height, more or less, till the end of the day. Even as bobby pins slipped out of place, the pouf remained.

While Elnett no longer has the caché of European contraband, that you can procure it for less than the price of a plane ticket should help fill the void.